Saturday 29 November 2008

Renting a car?
Do you know that the Excess can cost more than the car? This insurance is a great way to save money and have peace of mind when you rent a car - a great selection of policies available.
When a rental car is damaged or stolen, the driver is asked to pay the first portion of the repair or replacement costs. This is known as the Excess.
You can take out an inexpensive policy daily or annually to cover you not only for the total amount of Excess for which you are liable if the car is damaged or stolen, but also for damage to the roof and undercarriage of the car, and windows and tyres.
There are several companies offering this type of policy. One of the original companies is insurance4carhire.com It was Founded in 2002 by Larry Ursich, Insurance4carhire is an innovative internet insurance company whose core business is the provision of car rental Excess insurance. For 10 years, Larry ran his own car rental broking company, working closely with Dollar and Budget. After noting the high costs being charged by the car rental companies for Excess cover, Larry decided to develop a better alternative: annual car rental Excess insurance products offering customers convenience, peace of mind and very significant savings.
Another company is Questor Insurance Car Hire Insurance Questor is a new type of insurance broker conceived and set-up to transact business on the Internet. They say unlike their competitors they have not taken products sold over the telephone and then converted them to the Internet, they have designed all of their products specifically to be sold on the Internet.
Questor employs a sophisticated but simple to use web application which allows their clients to manage their insurance portfolio at a time to suit them without having to contact Questor.

Friday 28 November 2008

Advice on car rental before you collect the hire car

Before you leave home - Ensure thay you are carrying both your picture(credit card style) and paper driving licences. The paper licence is essential as it shows any endorsements you may have.

When you collect the car:
Check the vehicle for damage if it is night time make sure that you can properly view the car's bodywork. If it is raining borrow an umbrella from the hire company assistant.

Check the spare tyre

If it is really too dark or wet, let the company know any defects as soon as possible.


  • Most car rental locations require a credit card

  • Most car rental locations will not accept debit or switch cards

  • You must have held a valid driving licence for one year

  • British licence holders should note that many car hire outlets will not release the rental vehicle on sight of a photocard driving licence without also seeing the paper licence counterpart.They may also ask to see the paper licence counterpart of all named drivers.

  • Always ask what is included in the rates quoted

  • Never initial or sign an agreement without asking about each item

  • Do not over insure. If you have travel insurance you do not need personal effects or personal accident insurance

  • Do not be bullied by car hire companies saying the annual insurance or daily insurance you purchased at home is not adequate and you must buy their product.

  • Pre-purchase or Pre-reserve your car rental

  • Purchase from agents within your own country in case you need refunds or assistance

  • When you pick-up your vehicle determine where the drop off point is for your return

  • Ask if the return area has an attendant. If not, who do you return the car to?

  • If you leave the vehicle without check-in, examine it for damage and photograph it from every angle.

  • Drink drive laws vary from country to country - for example in Italy if you have a glass of wine and a grappa with dinner and you are stopped by the police - you will be fined.

  • Know your speed limits - these vary from country to country.

  • Speed / Radar cameras certainly apply to rental cars as well! The rental company will be notified and the renter contacted by the authorities. Speed traffic camera information is now being sent from one country to another. e.g. someone caught speeding with a French registered car in Italy will find that the fine will be reported to the French authorities if it is not paid.

  • Check with the Hire company if you can take the car out of the country you are renting in.e.g. Going from France into Italy or if renting in Ireland can you take the car into Northern Ireland or into the Republic of Ireland?

Additional Warning: Many car hire companies encourage the hirer to return the car empty. If you were to refill this yourself before taking it back, it is more than likely it would cost you less than the fuel deposit you paid when you took out the rental.

If you are renting a car via a company like Holiday Autos you will be provided with a voucher that you will have paid for in advance on line.

You then present the voucher to the car rental company. Some car hire companies will "swipe" your credit card so the details are stored on their computer, but will not actually debit your card at that stage. This is rather like when you book into a hotel.

They are taking your card details in case of accident, or any additional charges that are levied at the end of the rental like - out of hours collection - fuel charges - insurance etc.

Other companies will immediately debit your card as either they do no have this "swipe" and store facility or it is their policy to debit the account to cover a deposit, fuel charge etc. The downside to this is, if you are in a different currency e.g. renting in a "euro" currency country, but coming from the UK, Switzerland or the USA for example, your bank back home will charge for the conversion onto your card. On top of this exchange rates vary, so when you return the car and they "credit" your card again apart from being charged an exchange commission by your card/bank provider, the rate of the dollar, euro, Swiss franc might have gone up or down.

Unfortunately there is nothing you can do about this and the system does vary from company to company.

For more information car hire excess insurance visit

Annual Car Rental Insurance Renewal is here again

In October 2004 Philip Suter of JML Insurance and his wife read an article in a Saturday national newspaper about the benefits of taking out an annual car rental excess policy.

They rented cars at least half a dozen times a year and noticed how they were usually told that if the car was damaged there would be a large amount of money to pay and that was not included in the car rental standard insurance.

Naturally not wanting to have an additional worry they paid for additional insurance cover. They had never had a problem when renting a car apart from the time they used a low cost company who claimed the standard small Mercedes that was provided throughout that company's fleet had damage.

At that particular time a lot of people were invoiced for "alleged damage" and following a BBC television consumer programme the "alleged damage" deductions were refunded.

This incident and the fact that when you arrived at an airport to collect the car you were persuaded to part for non-budgeted income made this new product look interesting.

The insurance4carhire.com policy would cost around £50 each for European cover and renting a car several times a year would make it great value. Car rental companies would normally charge insurance excess by the day so even if you rented twice a year, the bill soon mounts up.

Philip Suter contacted the founder of insurance4carhire.com Larry Ursich, who had founded the company two years earlier in 2002. Larry had run his own car rental booking company for 10 years or so and noting the high costs being charged by the car rental companies for Excess cover, decided to develop a better alternative.

By this time jml-property-insurance.co.uk were selling a lot of HomeLet landlords and tenants property rental insurance policies and this alternative looked very interesting. Larry appointed jml Insurance as web agency and since then thousands of these policies have been sold to jml insurance and jml villas.com clients. Insurance4 car hire also cover North America and offer worldwide policies and two European renewal policies have just been sold to Philip Suter and his wife as the October termination notifications have been received.

Jml insurance.co.uk also offers other products from the husband and wife team of Larry and Maureen Ursich. "They keep on finding interesting non standard insurance products" says Philip. These include Second Home Emergency Travel Insurance, Motor Insurance Premium Reduction insurance and Car Key Insurance - it can cost over £400 to get a new set of car keys! It would interesting to see what products they develop next .

Philip Suter is a Director of JML Property Services, a UK based company offering Insurance products on line and management training with in the uk. He is a very experienced property consultant with over 30 years work in the Residential letting business and served in the national council of ARLA. He is a Fellow of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and a Member of The association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)